Coast Guard Sinks Ghost Ship

Ryou-un Maru adrift fishing vessel from 2011 Fukoshima tsunami, March 31, 2012. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter is attempting to sink a derelict Japanese fishing vessel off the coast of Alaska.

The Ryou-un Maru is currently about 180 miles southwest of Sitka. It’s been adrift since last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The Canadian Coast Guard first noticed it more than two weeks ago off the coast of British Columbia. Since then the vessel has drifted north, floating into U.S. waters on Saturday.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Francis says the Petersburg-based cutter Anacapa began firing on the ghost ship this afternoon.

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Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.